It is common to divide people into two camps; believers and non-believers but this is a false division because everyone believes in something. There are people who believe in God and people who believe in something else. Additionally there are gods apart from the God of the Bible and in a broad sense they could include Krishna, Science and Randomness. Courts have even found that atheism is a religion. The real question then is not should you believe but what should you believe.

In his book Can a Smart Person Believe in God, Michael Guillen describes what he calls a spiritual quotient (SQ). Everyone is familiar with the IQ or intelligence quotient as a measure of intellectual power. The spiritual quotient or SQ which he says is "...the ineffable, instinctive aptitude with which we are born. It is a measure of our ability to perceive God and all the subtler, nonphysical aspects of reality. (Guillen p 4)" SQ is recognized in popular psychology as well with statements like: "This is the intelligence involved in questions about the meaning of life and ultimate values (Greider)." Greider and many other references to SQ are out of the Dharmic traditions where there is much emphasis is placed on mysticism. Spiritual quotient along with IQ are considered by many to be part of personality study in general.

The premise of Guillen's book is that life is best lived with your IQ and SQ fully functioning. He offers the following figure to illustrate where we might find ourselves.SQ

If SQ and IQ are innate inborn qualities then efforts, like much of his site, to show a rational basis for Christianity would indeed be futile. Similarly if faith were indeed superstition as the atheists believe, Christianity would not stand up to any sort of investigation. We know, however, that those with little education or understanding can appreciate intellectual genius at some level. Similarly it would seem that even those with little innate ability to perceive God could appreciate that faith in others.

The fact that most people believe in the spiritual dimension would either indicate that such a dimension exists or that most people are deceived. The fact that it seems to be sensed in a way that is not the same as our physical reality makes it less real to many and perhaps impossible to see for a few. This may be due to functioning of their SQ.

We might therefore look at this figure as much as a model of thinking as it might be a plane in some personality model. While many of the intellectuals of our day would like to put themselves at the top of the pyramid on the origin page, having advanced beyond the need for gods, here we see that they may well be in the top left quadrant of this figure with one eye closed. The challenge then would be to look at the world with both eyes open rather than with one or more deliberately closed.

The intellectual atheists ridicule religious people by accusing them of being superstitious at worst or having a blind faith at best. They say, that if religious people would just let their reason guide them they would find that there is nothing to religion at all. They say that the religious live and think in the bottom left quadrant. With no functioning SQ it may indeed be impossible for them to see the full picture. Additionally there are many religious people who view all intellectual exercises as suspect. Without thinking it is easy to fall into superstition. Although it may be more likely that they are indeed in the blind faith category at he bottom right. It does seem that the bottom left quadrant is a dangerous place to live. The things of superstition, however do not correspond to the truth revealed in Christianity. The Bible purports to be a history of the relationship between God and his creation. The Christian really has nothing to fear from honest intellectual pursuits, providing that God has not been ruled out by initial assumptions.

So, if the intellectual cannot see the right two quadrants at all there remains nothing that can be said to them. If the religious person does not want to consider the top two at all there is nothing left to say to them here either. Deliberately having one or both eyes closed is not wise. It provides you with an incomplete view of the world. Opening both eyes is the only way to see creation as it truly is.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Psalm 19.1)

Seeing God in creation is what Christian theologians call general revelation. The fact that creation points to God. Paul reiterates this sentiment:

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1.20)

There is a long tradition of combining faith and reason. This is certainly true of Judaism as well.

Most religions teach that religious faith is something that either you've got or you don't. "Faith" is belief in something that can be neither proven nor disproven, so is immune to the sort of critical analysis that we apply to other decisions that we make in our lives. In this view, "theological truths" are not things that we determine to be true by using the standard tools of rational decision-making, but rather are arrived at by liberating oneself from the limits of rationality.


The Torah [the first five books of the Bible] and Judaism in general, do not support this distinction. On the contrary, Jewish literature consistently suggests that belief in Torah is based upon facts and rational arguments. The Torah appears to argue that one can arrive at these beliefs using the same decision-making process that we use in every other area of our lives. (Menken: 2005 p 6)

That God exists as the first cause of creation is an implicit assumption of the Bible. The Torah, after all, begins "In the beginning God... (Genesis 1.1)." The story that is subsequently told is that mankind declares his independence from God and walks away from God. Subsequently some men think they are gods and some think that they can control nature by magic. They close one or both eyes. The faithful live in acknowledgement and submission to God and his laws.

While rationality can and does play an important role in faith decisions, ones ability to perceive the spiritual dimension will certainly affect ones faith decision. Open your eyes and see if there is more to the world than what you have been able to see. 1/20/14 6/11/19 - relpaced teh above article at some point and is quite different. 1/20/14